Arabica coffee trees first grew wild in Ethiopia, making it the birthplace of coffee. Infact the word 'coffee' originates from the Ethiopian region of Kaffa. Human cultivation of coffee in Ethiopia is thought to date back to the nineteenth century, though how exactly people came to drink coffee is unclear. In the modern day, Ethiopia is the worlds seventh largest producer, with over 4 million bags produced (2006) and the quality some crops being some of the most unusual in the world. It is estimated some 14 million people are dependant on the coffee industry in Ethiopia and is Africa's biggest exporter of arabica coffee beans. Unlike most producing countries, the local population consumes a good proportion of the quality coffees themselves. There is a diverse range of cultivation techniques used throughout Ethiopia. From wild growing forest trees to small traditional plots and large modern plantations. Almost 50% of production is carried out above 1500m. 4 million bags. Grades 1-3 are given to Ethiopian Coffees, Grade 1 being a coffee of very special quality. Ethiopian coffees are some of my personal favourites. We've had many lots in Smokey Barn over the years. Some particular origins to look out for are: Yirgacheffe my favourite single origin. Watch out for some crazy flavours from the natural processed beans. Sidamo a small greyish bean that traditionally has delicate chocolate and spice notes with a lovely floral aroma.

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